Whack! Bang! Pow! The Caped Crusader Lands in Wrexham Town Centre.
Since the birth of the superhero, Bruce ‘Batman’ Wayne has always stood as a symbol of action, strength and justice – a protector of the people, keeping a vigilant eye over the tribulations of the infamous Gotham City. No longer in the realm of fantasy, Wrexham has got its very own version of the Caped Crusader, watching us from the wings.
Phil and Leah Jackson, founders of Creative Web Agency Fotofire, commissioned the carving of the Dark Knight. Fotofire are using the prominence of this iconic sculpture to help promote the sale of their luxury apartment in Wrexham’s town centre. Phil and Leah said, ‘we wanted to prove the power of viral social media as an alternative to the traditional route of solely collaborating with an estate agent. Instead, using social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Vimeo to promote the use of Internet marketing as a viable and powerful selling tool. That, and the fact we both are fans of Batman and know how skilled Simon is.’ See if you can spot him among the gothic backdrop of St.Giles Church – He will be watching.
Wrexham based artist Simon O’Rourke produces inspiring and unique carvings for clients, events and competitions around the world; but with an exciting twist – he uses a chainsaw. As a long-term friend of the Jackson’s, Simon was keen to help them get the project off the ground.
Simon trained as an illustrator and gained a degree at Glyndwr University in Wrexham. Moving his 2D artwork to 3D form, with use of a chainsaw, he has carved over a thousand sculptures in the past 10 years. Simon O’Rourke is regarded as one of the world’s best chainsaw carvers and has created pieces both nationally and internationally.
Simon explains, ‘Phil, Leah and I had a chat over a beer one evening, and after seeing the location of their apartment near St Giles Church, I couldn’t get the image of Batman out of my head; perched on their balcony overlooking the town. Having been a huge comic book fan as a kid, the idea of being able to sculpt one of my heroes was an opportunity I couldn’t resist. Now he is complete, he is one of my favourite pieces and I would love to get more opportunities to carve more Superheroes.’
Professional Photographer Steve Rawlins, one half of Cirrus Multimedia, has teamed up with Simon O’Rourke after previous meetings on past carvings to create a high-octane time-lapse video showcasing Simon’s incredible talent and the birth of a Superhero. Steve said, ‘I’ve seen Simon’s mad skills up close and personal. Both he and I thought that time-lapsing a sculpture would be the best way to show people the expertise involved. Batman offered us the ideal opportunity to showcase Simon’s vision and creativity on a subject that transcends the wood it is carved out of'.
It was Batman himself who said it is not who you are underneath but what you do that defines you. This collaborative project could be a defining moment for some of Wrexham’s creative industries and for the way social media can be used, proving that there is always a fresh and innovative way of doing things.